Every little detail of la Sagrada Familia was painstakingly planned out by Antoni Gaudi, the architect who made it his life's work and labored over it for 43 years. In the process, he experimented with many new architectural forms, pushing the existing boundaries both aesthetically and functionally. The columns, for instance, represent trees, and they branch off at the top like real tree branches. But the branches also have a functional purpose: they support great heights without the need of buttresses. Gaudi also experimented with hyperboloids for the steeple funnel, which lets in the maximum amount of sunlight and evenly distributes it. Now wonder why it took him 43 years!
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